IBM Research has taken the wraps off a new computing architecture and chip inspired by the “most powerful, efficient information processing device in the world”, the human brain.
IBM’s SyNAPSE program has been running for a while and yesterday’s announcement, which explained a little about the new software environment used for its neurosynaptic chips, is just the latest step in creating computers that mimic the human brain. Initial programming for IBM Research’s cognitive computing chips was done on an individual basis but the company has introduced corelets, reusable sections of the chip’s core which would “allow developers to create apps without programming individual neurosynaptic cores – all they would have to know is the overall task of a particular corelet.”
There are 150 corelets available to IBM at the moment and more are being programmed. In the absence of the actual neurosynaptic chip’s availability to developers, the corelets are being programmed in a simulator of the system that IBM has.
The end goal is a congnitive computing system “with ten billion neurons and hundred trillion synapses, all while consuming only one kilowatt of power and occupying less than two liters of volume” which will probably make its way into IBM’s Watson. After that, we’ll see how intelligent computers can be.